EMDR Therapy

Be brave enough to heal yourself even when it hurts

-Bianca Sparacino

I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression by my therapist. I told myself that those were just medical titles that really didn’t describe me. However, after much thought I decided to work with my therapist to help myself heal from my past traumas. I decided that I didn’t want to be anxious or depressed anymore. I want to be the best version of myself possible.

My therapist and I decided to start an intensive form therapy called EMDR to start the healing process. EMDR therapy “is a phased, focused approach to treating traumatic and other symptoms by reconnecting the client in a safe and measured way to the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and body sensations associated with the trauma, and allowing the natural healing powers of the brain to move toward adaptive resolution.” My therapist advised me that we would be creating a timeline of my life starting from my earliest memories to find out how my past traumas have affected me, and to start the healing process.

My therapist also introduced the concept of “parts” to me. She advised me that we all have three parts the exiles, managers, and the distractors. The three parts main goal is to protect your true self. The exiles hold the pain, and shame of the past. The exiles are the vulnerable part that often holds negative beliefs based on painful past experiences.

The managers run daily life, are proactive, and work to contain the exiles by staying in control of events and relationships. The managers protect our inner world. Mangers control every relationship and situation in order to protect us from feeling hurt and rejected. 

The distractors (also known as firefighters) are reactive and will work to put the fire (pain) out when an triggered exile erupts past a manager. The distractors also protect our system, but often to soothe or distract vulnerable parts of our being.

The true self is the center or core of our being. Our divine essence. In other words, our true self is the best version of ourself. It is scary to me to think that at almost 30 I have not become my true self.

Often the exiles hold shame, grief, loss, rage dependency, and loneliness. My exile part holds my depression. I realize that I often feel like I am not good enough, or like I am an outsider. I feel unprotected in the world and in my life. I realized that all those feelings that I hold inside are because of my exiles. On the inside I am a hurt little girl that just wants to love and be loved unconditionally.

The manger part is also known as the warrior or the planner. The mangers are the inner critic and the inner judge. The managers is also the caretaker, controller, striver, and passive pessimist. My manger side is very controlling, extremely critical, and paranoid. My manger part is also a go getter, and goal driven. I am never satisfied with anything in life, and I always feel like I can do better. I noticed this more in college when I would be angry with myself for earning A’s or B’s. I always want to earn a perfect 100 or a A+. While I work, I noticed that I always must be the best. During my last work evaluation my manger ranked me as “exceeds” after my first year of work. Still I left that evaluation wondering how I could improve or be better. Good is not good enough for me I must be perfect. I strive for perfection and sometimes that is a draining way to live.

The distractor part is also known as the firefighter and is reactive. The distractor part is often the part that displays addictive behaviors or dangerous behaviors. For example, obsessive shopping, binge eating, extreme drug or alcohol use, or dangerous sex practices. My distractor side is combative, defensive, vindictive, devious, and non-compromising. I also have a pretty bad shopping habit I’m addicted to buying new shoes. I am also addicted to buying different health products like various vitamins supplements. I am very defensive or quick to react. My distractor part is always in overdrive trying to protect me. I realize that I am noncompromising combative because I don’t want to feel weak. I always want to be in control of my life. I realized that underneath my tuff exterior I am just a girl who is afraid to get hurt.

Although this whole process is a bit scary, I am excited to find my true self. I am excited to drop all my emotional baggage and become the best Janay I can be. I would encourage everyone to go to therapy. I hope that everyone reading this will start their journey to finding their true self.

Below I attached my parts chart. Create one at home to see how your parts play a role in your everyday life.

Reference : https://www.psycom.net/emdr-therapy-anxiety-panic-ptsd-trauma/

My First Heartbreak

I remember it was a Thursday morning and I woke up extremely late for school. I was rushing to get the bush, and I needed to brush my teeth before I left the house. I would have skipped the whole day, before I left the house without brushing my teeth. When I went to brush my teeth the bathroom door was locked because someone was showering. I waited and I waited for the person in the shower to finish until I couldn’t wait any longer. I grabbed a spare toothbrush and toothpaste and quickly brushed my teeth in the empty kitchen sink before running out the door. I barely caught the bus, but I made it to school on time.

Later that day I came home from school and my father was sitting on the couch waiting for me to arrive. He asked why I brushed my teeth in the sink, and I explained that I was running late, and someone was in the bathroom. He was upset and explained how nasty that was and how inconsiderate I was for opening new toothpaste. I really felt like he was blowing the situation out of portion. Yes, I shouldn’t have overslept but that did not warrant a massive argument. My father started ranting and I started daydreaming about whatever teenage girls think about at that age.
Halfway through my daydream my father started choking me. I felt his hands wrap around my neck and I couldn’t breathe. I fought back trying to get him to let go of my throat. I don’t know how long it was before he let go but it felt like forever. He let me go and I ran out of the house never looking back at him. I ran to my best friend’s house who lived up the street and called my aunt to tell her what happened. She came to get me immediately and I stayed over her house.
Once I got to her house, she called the rest of my family and explained to them what happened. My whole family was in a complete uproar and wanted my father punished.
I was at my Aunt’s house for three days, and I couldn’t miss anymore school. My aunt finally talked to my mother who advised her that my father denied choking me.
“I need you to tell me exactly what happened and this is serious so please be completely honest” my aunt said.
I explained to her the situation once more, and my aunt advised me that she believed me. Knowing that my aunt believed me made me feel good. Knowing my mother seemed to believe my father made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t understand why my own mother would choose not to believe me. I would never lie about something so serious.
After five days my aunt advised me that she couldn’t keep me any longer. She advised she was taking me back home, but she would get me on weekends and the situation was far from over.
I went home and went straight to my room. I didn’t want to talk to my father, but more than anything I didn’t want to talk to my mother . For some strange reason I hated my mother more than my father. My mother was supposed to protect me from danger even if the danger was her husband . I felt like my mother should put me her child her first born first but instead she chose to believe her “man”. I vowed to myself never to be that kind of woman. The kind of woman who would let love or a man control her life. I vowed that day to always believe my child over anyone else.
Almost three months later I was talking to my parents about an issue. I don’t remember what exactly I was talking to them about, but I vividly remember blurting out to my father that he chocked me. I remember that without any remorse my father blatantly admitted to choking me.
“I choked you to get your attention” he said nonchalantly.
Shocked that he finally admitted that I looked to my mother. “This is her moment” I thought to myself. She couldn’t deny or ignore the fact that my father admitted to choking me. She had no choice but to react to my father’s shocking admission.
However my mother did not budge. She didn’t make on sound and acted like she wasn’t even in the same room. I hated everything about her. What kind of woman wouldn’t protect her child? What kind of woman could know that her child was abused but not care? It appeared my mother only cared about being married and staying married. I guess that’s what a good wife does. It was at that moment I told myself that I never wanted to be married if that meant sacrificing my self-respect, dignity and womanhood just to please a man. My parent’s marriage made me never want to get married.
Fast forward many years and I find myself sitting in my therapist office talking about my current day situation. I explained to her how even after my son’s father Jhavier girlfriend witness him punching me in the face in front of our three-year-old son she stayed with him and defended him. I explained to my therapist that even after Jhavier attempted to commit vehicular manslaughter and hit me with a car while her child and several other children were in the car she stayed. It was as if having a man meant more to her than standing up and doing the right thing. I hated her and I couldn’t understand what type of woman would stay with a man who showed no regard for life. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t feel like she deserved so much better. I pondered was her fear of being alone so great or was her self-esteem just that low?
My therapist asked me if Jhavier girlfriend’s actions upset because she reminded me of my mother. I realized I didn’t hate Jhavier’s girlfriend I hated what she stood for in my life. She was another woman willing to sacrifice her self-worth and respect for a man.
Present day I have a much better relationship with both of my parents. I love them and they are awesome grandparents. My childhood molded me into the strong take no nonsense person that I am today! My childhood made me vow to myself never to accept piece of a man because I deserve a whole man that will treat my son and myself with love and respect.
I would encourage all parents to trust and believe their children. Take action and protect your children at all cost!

 

Tiger Stripes

” Behavior never lies” – Gary Blair

I was admitted to the hospital 12/14/2014 to start the labor process for my son. Jhavier showed up to the hospital 12/17/14. Jhavier and I hadn’t spoken since about July 2014 around the time I was six months pregnant. There was so much turmoil between Jhavier and I during my pregnancy that I decided it was best that we didn’t speak. When I was admitted to the hospital I didn’t call Jhavier to tell him. 

When Jhavier walked into the hospital room I was shocked. However if I’m going to be honest I was also happy. Even after everything we went through I was excited to know Jhavier wanted to see our son be born. When Jhavier walked through the door nothing matter not the domestic violence, not him beating my dog, not the Craigslist sex scandal nothing matter. 

December 19 2014 I had a emergency C section and gave birth to my son Joshua. I named him Joshua because Joshua means savior. Joshua my son my savior. 

Joshua weighed 9.8 pounds when he was born. He was rushed to the NICU because he was barely breathing. I was so scared for my son, and although my mother was by my side I wanted to see Jhavier. Our son was being rushed to the NICU and I didn’t know what to think. I blamed myself, and I blamed Jhavier. I blamed him for putting me through so much negativity while I was pregnant. I blamed myself for putting up with the drama for so long. Once again I was broken my son was hurting and I couldn’t do anything to fix that. The only person who could’ve imagined what I was going through was Jhavier. No one else could feel the pain, or understand my anxiety other than Jhavier. Joshua was our child our flesh and blood. 

However after I gave birth to our son Jhavier was kicked out of the hospital due to his behavior. I watched the hospital security drag him out the hospital. That was the most painful and embarrassing moment of my life. I understood Jhavier probably was nervous about Joshua, but that didn’t excuse his behavior. The nurses and the doctors advised Jhavier’s behavior was unacceptable. 

“Typical Jhavier” I thought to myself. 

“Why couldn’t he hold it together for our son? Why couldn’t he hold it together for me” I thought as I began to cry out loud. 

The next day I would spend all day running back and forth to the NICU bringing breast milk to my son. I decided that I would breast feed, and it was very hard. My son wouldn’t latch onto my breast so I had to pump my milk. Pumping milk was also difficult because I wasn’t producing a lot of breast milk. Not being able to breast feed my son made me feel extremely inadequate and sad. I felt like a horrible mom because of my breast feeding issues. No one told me how normal it is for women to have issues breastfeeding and because of that I felt sad. I felt guilty like maybe I wasn’t supposed to be a mother or I wasn’t fit to be a mother. 

Jhavier finally came back to the hospital around 5:30 pm to finally meet his son. He came with a card with a handwritten note thanking me for choosing life and given birth to his first born son. He apologized for everything he put me through and promised to be the best father ever. He also came with a cloth flower from the gift shop.

“Maybe just maybe being a father will make him grow up” I thought to myself as I accepted the gifts.

Our son was in the NICU for 5 days. I stayed in the hospital everyday with him and so did Jhavier. We both slept in the same small hospital bed together every night. If I needed help with dressing Jhavier helped me. If I was hungry he would get me food and it felt like the old times were back. The old times when we were young and in love with no drama, no violence, just love. Jhavier was sweet, he was my protector. He was so in love with our son he held him whenever he could. My perfect family was coming together I thought to myself. I was happy even if it was just for the moment.

December 24th Christmas Eve 2014 Joshua was released from the NICU. I went home with my mother, and Jhavier went home to wherever he lived. Our time as a family was over. Reality kicked in as soon as we left the hospital. My little family was no more. 

After I left the hospital Jhavier would call every couple of days to check on our son. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t call everyday but I realized our son couldn’t talk. 

February 04 2015 I brought Josh to see Jhavier. Jhavier finally had time to spend with Joshua and I was happy to bring him. Jhavier was renting out a small bedroom in a boarding house for men. He lived on the top floor and had a small twin size bed. His bedroom door didn’t lock and there was one shared bathroom. Being the only woman in a house full of men made me uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be there, but I wanted to make sure Jhavier could spend time with his son. 

Jhavier asked me if we could have sex. I declined. He seemed like he was okay with the rejection as long he still could be with his son. I was at Jhaviers house for about two hours and I asked him to pop some popcorn. He said no and told me to pop my own popcorn. The microwave was in the kitchen and I didn’t want to go into the kitchen with the men. The strange men in the boarding house who I did not know. I explained that to Jhavier and he became enraged. 

“You think your better than me. Your too good to go to my kitchen.” Jhavier said as he snatched the popcorn from me and threw it out his third floor window. I realized at that moment that Jhavier did not change. He was still the same evil women beater and I felt dumb. 

I started gathering my stuff and my son to leave. I had my son in one arm and his diaper bag in the other arm and I started walking to the door. 

“Bitch you can leave but leave my son” Jhavier said as he pushed me. I feel onto the bed with my son in my arms. Josh was barely three months old. I felt like I failed as a mother again. I knew Jhavier was unstable and still I came to his room with the hopes of being a family. It was my fault that my infant son was subjected to the foolery.

Jhavier apologized and begged me so stay. I left with our son and told Jhavier I would never come back. I told him he could still see our son but I would not bring our son to him. He would need to make the arrangements. I left his room that day, and Jhavier didn’t see Josh again until Josh’s dedication on June 14 2015.

I learned that day that Jhavier would never ever change. No matter how much I wished he would change. My heart was broken. Jhavier showed me who he was and I should’ve believed him.

But Did You Die Pt2

“This seems to be the most pro-criminal group of legislators I’ve ever seen” – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

The next Morning after Jhavier my son’s father punched me in the face, and attempt to hit our son and myself with a car I woke up in extreme pain. My body was sore, and my I was emotionally drained. It was Memorial Day 2017 and I did not feel like celebrating. Staying in bed all day was my plan until my phone began to ring over and over again. It was Jhavier calling me because he wanted to pick our son up for the holiday. 

“What is wrong with this guy? Does he not remember punching me in the face last night?” I thought to myself perplexed. I agreed to meet Jhavier at the playground in my apartment complex to do the exchange.  I called 911 and advised them that Jhaiver was at my apartment complex. I advised the police that there was a warrant out for Jhavier’s arrest because he assaulted me the on the pervious day. I called the police early because the day before it took them almost 30 minutes to arrive, and I didn’t want to take any chances with Jhaiver. 

30 minutes later Jhavier called again advising that he was at the playground waiting for me to bring our son. I called 911 and begged them to send a police officer to the scene as soon as possible. I advised them that I didn’t feel safe, and that Jhavier was too unpredictable. The 911 operator advised me that an officer was dispatched and someone should be there soon. In a panic I paced back and forth in my apartment not knowing what to do, or how the day would end. 

Finally 50 minutes after I initially called the police two armed officers one a short black female, and the other a tall middle-aged black male knocked on the door. I opened the door and to my surprise the officers started treating me like a criminal.

“Where is the child” the female officer asked as she began looking around my apartment. I advised her that my son was with my mother and he wasn’t home.

“The father is outside and he has a court order that states he is supposed to have his son for the holiday” the male officer stated. 

“Why does it feel like your questioning me when I called you? I called and advised that he Jhavier has an open warrant for punching me in the face yesterday and trying to him my son and myself with a car. You’re here for me when he punched me in the face. Look at my face” I said as my voice began to crack. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore I reached my breaking point.   

“How do you know he has a warrant” the male officer asked appearing to be unmoved by my tears or my last statement. 

“We received a call from the male advising that he was supposed to have visitation with his son today, and the mother was being belligerent and preventing him from taking the child” Do you have proof” the woman officer asked. 

I showed her the police report from the night before, and the male officer called to confirm the warrant was in the system. 

“I called twice and you showed up because he called? The law is really just going to let this man harass me until he kills me” I said out loud to myself. 

“If he kills you it will be your fault. You need to protect yourself. Domestic violence laws are a joke in Maryland. Get a restraining order and protect yourself” the male officer said to me coldly. 

A few minutes passed and the officers confirmed Jhavier did in fact have a warrant out for his arrest. The officers came up with a plan to arrest Jhaiver without incident. Their plan was to allow Jhaiver to think he was going to be getting out son. Then they arrested him at the door to my apartment building. The police for some reason brought Jhavier to my apartment building and then arrested him. I spent almost three year hiding and never letting Jhaiver know where I lived only for the police to bring him to my door. 

“I have to move now” is all I could think. 

The officers handcuffed Jhavier, and he looked right up at me. I starred right back at him looking him in the eyes. I didn’t want him to see fear, or to see me upset. He didn’t deserve my tears, or my fear.

As the officer read Jhavier his right Jhavier began to break down and cry. “You’re a black man are you really going to arrest another black man” Jhavier asked the arresting officer. “They pay you to locked down and cage us like animals and you’re okay with being a pawn. A paid slave” Jhavier continued to say to the officer.  The officer never responded as he placed Jhavier in the back seat. 

“Is he seriously playing the race card right now?” I asked myself barely believing Jhavier was tacky enough to even use the race card in that moment. He was being arrested for attempting to kill a “black woman” but he felt as though the officer was a sell out for arresting him. 

That is the moment where I really realized that Jhavier was a narcissus.

Jhavier would be held without bail for 48 hours. His girlfriend would end up texting me and I quote “too bad he knocked those glasses off not a smart move, but he’s not a bad man, and the courts will see that. You want him in jail so bad don’t you little girl.”

After 48 hours Jhaiver was given a bond, and able to bail out jail. He was free no house arrest or anything free. The judge advised him to stay away from me, and to have no contact. I didn’t feel safe knowing that Jhaiver was free and now knew where I lived.  

 Jhavier took an erroneous restraining order out on me claiming I beat him up which was later thrown out. Why the court even let him take that restraining order out on me I’ll never know. It was all lies, and I had to go to court to have it thrown out. Jhaiver was never punished for taking out an erroneous protective order, he wasn’t held in contempt for coming to court and blantly lying.  

Jhavier was charged with second degree assault, and first degree assault which is a felony charge. He pled not guilty and asked for a jury trial. Read part 3 to find out what happens next.